The contenders: Analysing the favourites for the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup

 As the countdown to the 2024 Cheltenham Festival intensifies, anticipation is reaching a fever pitch amongst novice and seasoned racing enthusiasts alike.  

Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash

The excitement is building with each passing day, and all eyes will be on Prestbury Park, especially on March 15 as the horses and riders line up for the prestigious Gold Cup.  

The iconic contest is the highlight of the entire Cheltenham Festival, and there is no better way to end the four-day meeting.  

With just weeks to go until the latest renewal of the contest, let’s delve into the Gold Cup odds 2024 and analyse the leading contenders.  

Galopin Des Champs – 10/11 

Many pundits and fans alike thought Galopin Des Champs’ price (7/5) was too short ahead of last year’s Gold Cup, but he proved them all wrong by romping home in a thrilling finish against Bravemansgame to win by seven lengths.  

A surprise dip in form resulted in the Willie Mullins-trained horse finishing behind Fastorslow in the Punchestown Gold Cup in April and the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on reappearance in November.  

Those who were still brave enough to back Galopin Des Champs in the Gold Cup ante-post market after those two defeats will have got a nice price, as consecutive wins in the Savills Chase and Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown have resulted in the eight-year-old being slashed to 10/11. 

Fastorslow – 4/1 

As already mentioned, Fastorslow stunned Galopin Des Champs not once, but twice at Punchestown to win those two lucrative Grade 1s last year.  

However, there is now an argument as to whether the Martin Brassil-trained horse was merely a beneficiary of Galopin Des Champs’ poor form following his all-out Gold Cup win and if Fastorslow can beat him at his best.  

The answer to that was perhaps there for us to all see in the recent Irish Gold Cup, as Fastorslow finished over four lengths behind Galopin Des Champs at Leopardstown. It would take something special for that form to be reversed at Cheltenham.  

Shishkin – 7/1 

Shishkin has arguably shown that he does have the ability it takes to win the Gold Cup, but it is the inconsistent factor of the Nicky Henderson-trained horse that could scare bettors away from backing him at 7/1 in the race odds 

The 10-year-old wowed racegoers again recently when he won the Grade 2 Denman Chase at Newbury, but for every fantastic win on his CV there is a blemish that is hard to overlook — like refusing to race at Ascot in November or unseating Nico de Boinville in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.  

There are a lot of red flags next to Shishkin’s name on the race card, but who knows what version of this multiple-graded winner is going to show up on Gold Cup Day?  

L’Homme Presse – 10/1 

L’Homme Presse looked like a Gold Cup contender when winning top-level races like the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase and Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase in 2022, and he started last season well when landing a Premier Handicap at Newcastle.  

However, he unseated Charlie Deutsch upon landing after the last in the King George VI Chase and then missed the remainder of the season through injury.  

L’Homme Presse returned after 391 days at Lingfield in January and did so with a bang when beating Protektorat by over two lengths. The Ascot Chase didn’t go to plan as the Venetia Williams-trained horse was second, which has resulted in a drift to 10/1.  




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